Floods in Pakistan cause suspension of internet service

Heavy rains and floods in Pakistan are likely to cause more internet outages in the country. Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Aminul Haque on Thursday said that the situation is serious, and more internet outage incidents are expected in days to come. Pakistan recently witnessed two instances of internet outages last week, reported Geo News.

The minister told the publication that due to extensive flooding, most of the pathways of underground cables have been submerged, as relief workers or locals try to divert floodwater by digging trenches on roads and footpaths. Haque said that the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has been asked to declare an emergency so that repair work can be initiated when any such incident is reported in the system. PTCL is the main provider of internet bandwidth in central and northern Pakistan and millions rely on the service for internet connectivity.

“The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is constantly monitoring the quality of service,” the minister said. A technical report submitted to the Ministry of Information Technology stated that Pakistanis may face more suspensions of internet service in the near future as the country deals with excessive flooding caused by relentless rains.

A report published by Daily Dawn read that PTCL stated in its report that internet outages during the last few days were actually caused by “flood relief efforts in the Sukkur division where fibre-optic cables were being damaged mainly by heavy machinery used to clear water in Sindh”. The ministry had directed the PTCL and PTA to submit a report after incidents of cable cuts recently.

Netizens experienced disruption in services multiple times during the last several days as rescue efforts kicked off amid heavy rains in Sindh, reported Geo News. The Pakistani Meteorological Department (PMD) forecasted “above-normal” rainfall in most parts of the country in August, warning that heavy downpours could trigger flash flooding in hilly areas of eastern Punjab and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), reported The Express Tribune.

In its outlook for August, the PMD also warned of urban flooding in plain areas such as major cities of Sindh, Punjab and KP. “Due to extreme hydro-meteorological events over catchments, riverine floods cannot be ruled out,” it added. Amidst the ongoing devastation and wreckage caused by heavy rains and floods in different parts of Pakistan, the Federal Ministry for Climate Change in Pakistan has warned of more rains in the coming weeks as the federal cabinet declared a “monsoon emergency” in the country.

At least 549 people have died in Pakistan in the past month as a result of flash floods brought on by unusually strong monsoon rains, with rural areas in the province of Balochistan among the worst affected, reported The Express Tribune. Aside from the fatalities, the flooding had damaged more than 46,200 houses, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan said.

According to the NDMA, the past month saw 133 per cent more rain than the 30-year average, making it the wettest in three decades. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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